27 November 2005

The Nameless (Els Sense Nom, Catalonia, Spain, 1999)

Jaume Balaguero's film begins as a tragic story, when a mother loses her daughter, victim of a horrendous mutilation. Then the story jumps five years ahead and suddenly the mother receives a phone call from her daughter, telling her she is still alive but prisoner in some kind of cult group. This will start a desperate search for the girl, with the help of an old friend, the mother starts to find out the truth: apparently her daughter has been used to explore the limits of pain in a hidden cult which initiated in Scotland. This is one of the best movies I have seen dealing with the subject of cult and fanatism. The unexpected ending will leave you astonished. Throughout the film, the viewer has the impression of getting to the truth of things, but every now and then there is a twist, and the real truth appears more shocking than before. This is a movie I wanted to see for a long time now. If you like the Spanish film "The Thesis" you should not miss this Spanish jewel.

23 November 2005

Irreversible (France, 2002)

Director Gaspar Noé is well known for creating ultra violent and realistic films. This one is no exception, following his own cruel style, Noé explores the life of a Parisian couple on one single fateful day. The story is told backwards, beginning with the last scene late that night, moving on to the previous events. This is a story of revenge. Marcus is confronted with the rape of his girlfriend, Alex (the beautiful Monica Bellucci) He seeks revenge by looking for the rapist that same night. A 20-minutes rape scene, a visit into a gay bar, menacing trasvestite hookers in the Parisian streets: it all looks dreadful and terrifying, hard to believe this really happens in a developed country, such as France.

21 November 2005

Ostkreuz (East Cross, Germany, 1989)

Director Michael Klier depicts a very depressing portray of life in former East Germany. 14-year-old Elfie lives with her mother in East Berlin. While she skips classes and practically does nothing productive, her mother sleeps with a friend in exchange for money. They both want to pay the appartment they live in. Elfie meets a Polish fellow who shows her the way to steal pickpocket style on the streets. The money she gets out of this is not enough, and her mother decides to leave East Germany with her "boyfriend" she leaves her daughter behind. It cannot be a more depressing ending, although it is not a heartbreaking story.

05 November 2005

Brazil (UK, 1985)

Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet called Brazil "retro-futurism", a willfully absurdist dystopian fable about an impossible future that feels more like an antiquated past. It is the story of a society completely controlled by a dictatorship. Every single move is registered by the government, and bundles of acts must be filled out before anyone wants to do anything. Our main character falls in love with a girl he meets on the street, and in his attempt to find her, he accepts a promotion in the information ministry. An exciting and blow-your-mind experience begins when he tries to get into the files and find her profile. This is retro-futurism in all its true form, and true science fiction jewel not to be missed.

04 November 2005

The Squid and the Whale (USA, 2005)

Noah Baumbach's latest film is a very un-Royal Tannenbaums tragicomedy about a family tearing itself to shreds. 12-year-old Frank and 16-year-old Walt watch their once-famous novelist father and rising writer mother turn family history into urban myth. At times perceptive and moving and bracing, also admirably ruthless, it is also a very funny story. Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney do an excellent job as a married couple trying to save their marriage. The film won the 2005 Dramatic Directing and Waldo Salt Screenwriting price at the last Sundance film festival.